Speed limits, ITIP approval, and consideration of new rules will highlight next week’s Idaho Transportation Board meeting in McCall.

Tour

The District 3 board tour on September 11 will focus on local industry and freight with a tour of Western Trailers. The tour will also feature challenges related to growth, maintenance challenges and achievements, and recently-completed and upcoming construction projects in the area.

The board will travel to McCall on ID-55 for its business meeting on September 12 at the Northfork Lodge.

80 mph speed limits

In 2014, legislation allowed the board to raise interstate speed limits to 80 mph if it was supported by an engineering and traffic study. Staff determined that raising the 75 mph speed limit to 80 mph on sections of I-15, I-84, and I-86 would be appropriate. The board concurred. Since then, staff has been presenting an annual report on the effects of this speed limit change.

The 2019 report, which will be presented to the board on September 12, indicates that the 85th percentile speed on the three routes is 83.5 mph. The differential speed between light and heavy vehicles is 11 mph. There has been an increasing trend in the number of crashes in Idaho. However, the trend stretches across the entire system, not just the sections where the speed limit is 80 mph.

The observed vehicle speeds and crash experience since raising the speed limit on these routes indicates operations have remained relatively unchanged from prior conditions and that the higher 80 mph speed limit is appropriate and should remain unchanged at this time.

Recommended FY20-26 Idaho Transportation Investment Program (ITIP)

In June, staff presented the draft FY20-26 ITIP with highways, public transit, and aeronautics projects. A 30-day public review comment produced comments and requests which were incorporated into the updated ITIP when appropriate. Other changes made to the program since June include fiscally constrained changes requested by stakeholders and correction of oversights and errors.

Assuming the Recommended ITIP is approved by the board next week, it will then be submitted for federal approval. 

Rule Revisions

Staff has been busy reviewing the department’s administrative rules, partly due to the Governor’s Red Tape Reduction Act.

Last month, the board approved revisions to 11 rules addressing issues such as the issuance of certificates of title, registration and permit fee administration, names on drivers’ licenses and identification cards, traffic control devices, and outdoor advertising.

Next week, three dockets will be presented to the board for approval. The first one, Rules Governing Issuance of Certificates of Title, was presented last month, but new language was added. It consolidates five rules. Two rules are being combined into the Rules Governing License Plate Provisions, and eight rules covering aeronautics issues are being consolidated into one rule, Rules Governing Aeronautics and Aviation.

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